Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to kick off the 2021 NFL Season with a W as they host Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. The two teams will clash on Thursday, September 9, for the first time since August 2019, when Buccaneers beat Cowboys 17-15 on the road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys
When: Thursday, September 9 – 20:20 EDT
Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
Weather: Partly cloudy, 27°C
The 2021 NFL Kick-Off Game will see the Super Bowl LV champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, welcoming the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Oddsmakers believe that the return of Dak Prescott isn’t going to do much for the Cowboys, who are seen as eight-point underdogs. Can they upset the odds, or we’ll see the Bucs start their Super Bowl-defending campaign with a big win? Let’s find out!
All of Tampa’s Super Bowl Starters are Still on the Roster
Tampa Bay Buccaneers have managed to keep all of their 22 Super Bowl starters in the team for the 2021 season. It’s something no other Super Bowl winner has achieved since 1977.
What this means is that we can expect pretty much the same level of excellence from the Bucs in 2021. Tom Brady is once again expected to be superb in the offence, despite being in his mid-forties.
Same as the last season, the Bucs should be solid in the defence as well. As a reminder, they have conceded only 355 points in the regular season – only three NFC teams have managed to do better than them defensively.
What’s even more impressive is that Tampa’s defence ravished the Chiefs’ offence in the Super Bowl LV, even managing to sack Patrick Mahomes once.
All of this should worry the Cowboys a lot, despite the fact that their crucial player, QB Dak Prescott will return for Thursday’s game.
Can Dak Prescott Help the Cowboys Win?
The short answer is: no. Although he is arguably one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league, he simply doesn’t have good enough teammates in the offence to see much success much against Tampa’s defence.
Another reason why you should doubt Dallas Cowboys is that the 2021 Prescott probably isn’t the same player as he was before his ankle injury. He was nothing short of spectacular in 2019 and had even started the 2020 season in top gear. However, in Week 5, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
That problem is in the past for him, but this summer, Prescott also injured his shoulder, for which he had to sit out all of Dallas’ four pre-season games. As a result, the quarterback hasn’t played a single game in 11 months!
Another problem for the Cowboys is that they typically aren’t a very good team on the road. In fact, they have managed only two wins from their last 13 away games. What’s more, the Cowboys are 0-5 in their last five outings and 3-7 across their last 10.
On the road, Dallas Cowboys have managed only two wins in their last 10 trips – against Cincinnati Bengals (30-7) and Minnesota Vikings (31-28) – but have lost all of their most recent three, against New York Giants (19-23), Pittsburgh Steelers (3-16), and Arizona Cardinals (16-19).
Even at home, Dallas Cowboys haven’t achieved much, seeing how they are 0-2 in their last two home games, having lost against Houston Texans (14-20) and Jacksonville Jaguars (14-34), who beat them on Sunday, August 29, in the final round of NFL 2021 pre-season games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys Betting Pick
The Super Bowl is the game for which teams prepare most meticulously. The Week 1 game is just behind that.
For each NFL team, starting the new season with a win is a priority, which is why favourites usually win in the opening round. Proof of this is that the Super Bowl winners have won most of the NFL Kick-Off Games in the 21st century – only three champions failed to start their new campaigns with a win.
Looking at this match, it’s doubtful that the Bucs will become the fourth team on that list. They not only have the talent to compete for Super Bowl but are significantly stronger than the Cowboys, who we expect to struggle on Thursday.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7.5 – 1.921 at Sportmarket